Nome is a historical drama directed by Sana Na N'Hada and written by Virgílio Almeida and Olivier Marboeuf. The story takes place in Guinea-Bissau in 1969, during the war of independence between the Portuguese colonial army and the guerrillas of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea.
The protagonist, Nome, leaves his village and joins the ranks of the guerrillas. After years of struggle, he returns to his village as a hero. However, the initial joy soon gives way to bitterness and cynicism.
By Sana Na N'Hada, Guinea-Bissau/France/Portugal/Angola, 2023, 117min, Drama, Portuguese w/ English subtitles
"Nome is a film over 50 years in the making. In the late 60s, revolutionary Bissau-Guinean Marxist leader Amílcar Cabral sent filmmakers Sana na N’Hada, Flora Gomes, Josefina Lopes Crato and José Bolama to Cuba. To help change international public opinion against the Portuguese colonial regime, they returned to the country to document the struggle. This archive footage forms the basis for the fiction Nome, N’hada following its eponymous character as he joins the resistance movement.
Perhaps Cabral, had he lived to see this movie (assassinated in 1973), would be disappointed, as Na N’hada, returning to one of his first filmmaking projects, complicates a simple resister narrative into a more complex tale of post-colonial legacy and the true cost of war. Things get particularly messy when the occupation is over, colonial occupation giving way to corruption and petty gangsterism on the streets of Bissau, issues that have plagued the country until this day.
Independence, it seems, is just the start. " ~ ACID Cannes 2023
“At the same time epic and fascinating by the richness of what it weaves, Nome is the essential questioning of a 73-year-old director who has fought all his life for his country to develop in respect of its values, in the spirit of the Revolution.” ~ Olivier Barlet Africultures